Customer Reviews


23 Reviews
5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unit works well
I've been using this to cook Chinese Herbal Medicine for a few months now. I used to use a ceramic pot to cook the medicine. This unit is much easier to cook. You plug and let it do its job. The ceramic pot is easier to clean and costs $5.99. This unit you cannot put into a dishwasher due to electronic components being part of the unit. One time I was rinsing the...
Published on August 28, 2006 by Laife

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cooks down to 1/2 cup; broke after a few uses
I am told to put in 4 cups of water with my herbs and then when it is done and both lights are on, it should have cooked it down to be 1 cup. However, it has never has given me 1 cup. It used to give me 3/4 cup but now it just gives me a 1/2 cup so it is cooking it longer each time. (I have now read the other reviews and see I have to unplug it versus trust it to do what...
Published on June 3, 2011 by V. Smith


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unit works well, August 28, 2006
I've been using this to cook Chinese Herbal Medicine for a few months now. I used to use a ceramic pot to cook the medicine. This unit is much easier to cook. You plug and let it do its job. The ceramic pot is easier to clean and costs $5.99. This unit you cannot put into a dishwasher due to electronic components being part of the unit. One time I was rinsing the unit trying to clean it and the water got onto the base and the unit stop working for 24 hours ... until it was dry again. Normally this does not happen if you clean it carefully.

This unit works by cooking the medicine until the water level drops to a certain point. Then it switches to warm mode. This often takes 1.5 to 2 hours for the medicine I cook. However the herbalist whom I get my medicine from says to cook it only for 30 minutes after it boils and not to exceed 40 minutes. Well since he is an OMD, and a former professor of the Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I'll take his word for it. I have to use kitchen timer and then un-plug this unit after 45 minutes (15 minutes before it boils + 30 minutes of boil).
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall well made, but you do need a kitchen timer., April 18, 2008
I just got one of these at a local herb store (mine is the Chinese model ss-3040 but is exactly the same thing as the NY636). After using it once I can tell several things right away:

1) overall it's well made and looks nice (nice thick glaze over the ceramic with some cute calligraphy on the front).

2) there is very little circuitry inside so there is less to fail but at the same time the unit is "dumb". It will just keep boiling until the water level drops enough to expose the top of the stainless steel heater element (which rises about maybe 1-2 inches from the bottom) then will switch to keep warm. After boiling it seems you are left with around 2 cups of liquid.

3) much easier to deal with (IMHO) than boiling herbs in a ceramic double-lid "ginseng cooker". Just plug in and let it go (after adding your pre-washed herbs and water, of course).

4) it is not suited for aromatic herbs or herbs with high volatile oil content as steam escapes through both the pouring spout (which I covered with a small piece of tin foil until I find something better to use) and a small hole (perhaps around .5 cm) on the lid. Actually covering the spout may just make it take longer to cook as the liquid would evaporate slower...

5) as previous poster mentioned, you need a kitchen/electric timer! You can't manually switch to keep warm (with a button or switch, etc) you need to remove/stop the power. The little front lights are indicators only, not switches or button. Some herbs/formulas you just can't let cook like the cooker is meant to, however most you probably can if you balance the water and herbs correctly, and know what your doing. Ask your TCM doctor, which I am not (yet). Also consult a good Materia Medica for herbs in question. With a timer this could also be used for other (related) purposed liked Chinese Medicated Diet therapies, etc, but a hot pot may work better in many cases that require very slow cooking.

Other notes: as it says in the manual, once the heat has switched to keep warm don't let your tea sit for more than 2 hours as the herbs may soak up some of the active ingredients you just decocted as they dry.

One last thing, it does come with a 1-year warranty (or so the company claims), so keep your receipt and box. While it is made in China, it's distributor is in CA (so no you won't have to ship to China for warranty issues).

All that aside, get one... they look cool :D
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Looks nice but..., September 25, 2011
This review is from: Sunpentown NY-636 3-4/5-Liter Chinese Herbal Medicine Cooker with Stainless Heater (Kitchen)
Chinese herbs are suppose to be cooked in a clay pot and the herb should not come in contact with any metalic surface. This unit is made of Porcelain and has an exposed stainless steel cooking element cover inside which the herbs would sit on. But it does look nice.Sunpentown SS-0340 3-2/5-Liter Chinese Herbal Medicine Cooker with Stainless Heater
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cooks down to 1/2 cup; broke after a few uses, June 3, 2011
By 
V. Smith (Bay Area, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sunpentown NY-636 3-4/5-Liter Chinese Herbal Medicine Cooker with Stainless Heater (Kitchen)
I am told to put in 4 cups of water with my herbs and then when it is done and both lights are on, it should have cooked it down to be 1 cup. However, it has never has given me 1 cup. It used to give me 3/4 cup but now it just gives me a 1/2 cup so it is cooking it longer each time. (I have now read the other reviews and see I have to unplug it versus trust it to do what it is supposed to do.) The other issue is that now it needs 24 hours to "cool" before I can reuse it as when I plug it back in, both lights stay on and it won't go into cook mode. It therefore doesn't work properly. I have probably only used it 8 times so I am really disappointed with the quality.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There is a plastic ring inside the pot!, March 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sunpentown NY-636 3-4/5-Liter Chinese Herbal Medicine Cooker with Stainless Heater (Kitchen)
Inside the pot, there is a plastic ring that seals around the stainless steel heating part. When you cook the herbal tea you will be cooking this plastic ring as well. I couldn't believe it when I saw and felt this plastic ring inside the pot. You had to look carefully to find this ring. Is it PBA free?

I returned the product. I am going to use the traditional Chinese herbal tea cooker which breaks and burns easily. But I know I am not drinking the extra stuff coming from the plastic ring.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, January 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sunpentown NY-636 3-4/5-Liter Chinese Herbal Medicine Cooker with Stainless Heater (Kitchen)
This is an excellent product! The quality is top-notch, well crafted and sturdy. It works like a charm with traditional Chinese herbs and definitely preserved the quality of the herbs. I am very happy with this product and would definitely purchase this product and from this seller again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disaster, September 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sunpentown NY-636 3-4/5-Liter Chinese Herbal Medicine Cooker with Stainless Heater (Kitchen)
The element blew up after one day. I cleaned it, but still didn't work! This has been a waste of money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, May 22, 2014
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This review is from: Sunpentown NY-636 3-4/5-Liter Chinese Herbal Medicine Cooker with Stainless Heater (Kitchen)
Very easy to use, hard to clean, but that's expected.
The pot will do its job and keep the herbal tea warm once it's done. Just like the ones I can find in Chinatown, but cheaper and I don't have to go into Chinatown to get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect replacement for the one I accidentally broke!, May 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sunpentown NY-636 3-4/5-Liter Chinese Herbal Medicine Cooker with Stainless Heater (Kitchen)
My wife uses a pot like this for her Chinese herbs. I accidentally broke her previous one. So happy to find one just like it for less than she paid for at the Chinese market. Works great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use., May 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sunpentown NY-636 3-4/5-Liter Chinese Herbal Medicine Cooker with Stainless Heater (Kitchen)
Put the herbs inside, put water inside, turn on and walk away. Cannot be easier to use.
No more watching or waiting by the stove to watch for spilling.
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